DAVID FERRIE







Warren Commission Document #75 (CD 75) consists of various reports
relating to the FBI's investigation of the assassination of President
Kennedy, and contained within CD 75 is a lengthy and detailed interview
with David Ferrie that was conducted by two FBI special agents on
November 25, 1963 (the day of JFK's funeral).

In the multi-page FBI interview, which begins on Page 285 of CD 75
(linked above), almost every minute of David Ferrie's activities and
whereabouts on the dates of 11/22/63 through 11/25/63 are discussed
and dissected, including the names and addresses of the various motels
that he and his two companions (Al Beauboeuf and Melvin Coffee) stayed
at during Ferrie's mini-"vacation" to multiple cities in the states of
Louisiana and Texas, which was a driving trip that commenced (per
Ferrie) approximately six hours after President Kennedy had been
assassinated in Dallas. According to the FBI report, Ferrie made the
excursion to "merely relax" [CD 75; p.288].

There are still many conspiracy theorists who firmly believe that
David W. Ferrie was a key conspirator in the murder of President
John F. Kennedy, with some of these same conspiracists also believing
that Ferrie was murdered in order to keep him from spilling any
additional beans concerning his alleged involvement in Kennedy's
assassination.

Ferrie's death on February 22, 1967, however, was ruled a "natural"
death by New Orleans coroner Nicholas J. Chetta. [See David Ferrie's
autopsy report HERE.]

But after taking a detailed look at the 11/25/63 FBI interview of Ferrie
in CD 75, a logical question immediately entered my head:

If Dave Ferrie had been involved (in any way) as a conspirator in the
assassination of President Kennedy, then why on Earth didn't he make
arrangements to GET HIMSELF OUT OF THE COUNTRY immediately after
(or even BEFORE) the assassination?

But not only did Ferrie NOT flee the country on 11/22/63, he took a
three-day driving trip with two of his friends (who would be able to
confirm Ferrie's whereabouts and activities), which was a trip that
included many different stops in several cities and towns in Louisiana
and Texas (the latter state, of course, being the very same state
where Kennedy was killed).

And during this automobile trip, Ferrie came into contact with many
additional witnesses who can verify where he was located during the
days that immediately followed JFK's assassination.

Therefore, we aren't forced to accept ONLY Ferrie's word for the
things he told the FBI on 11/25/63, which I think is an important
point to be made, particularly when the following question is asked
(mostly by conspiracy theorists who want to implicate Ferrie in a plot
to kill JFK):

Did David Ferrie really travel to Houston and go ice skating
shortly after President Kennedy's assassination?

In Oliver Stone's movie "JFK", Stone almost certainly wants people
watching his film to believe that Ferrie was a liar when he told Jim
Garrison on November 25, 1963 (the very same day of Ferrie's lengthy
interview with the FBI, by the way), that he (Ferrie) drove to Houston
in a heavy thunderstorm on the evening of 11/22/63 and then went ice
skating at a local Houston skating rink.

In Stone's motion picture, Garrison tells Ferrie that he doesn't think
Ferrie's story about driving to Houston to go ice skating is
believable, and therefore Ferrie is detained by Garrison's office for
further questioning.

But what Oliver Stone doesn't tell his movie audience (naturally) is
that Ferrie's account about travelling to Houston and going ice skating
was FULLY CORROBORATED by other people and was proven to be a
factual story.

Now I will admit that Garrison, at the precise time he interviewed
Ferrie on November 25th, couldn't have known for a fact whether
Ferrie's story was the truth or not, but I think it's fairly obvious
that Oliver Stone wanted the millions of people watching his 1991 film
to believe that Ferrie wasn't telling the truth about taking a trip to
Houston (and other cities) shortly after the assassination took place.

One of the witnesses who was able to verify a major portion of Ferrie's
1963 statement to the FBI was Rowland Charles (Chuck) Rolland, who
was the President and General Manager of the Winterland Ice Skating
Rink in Houston, Texas.

On February 12, 1969, during the New Orleans trial of Clay Shaw,
Rolland testified that Ferrie (and two companions of Ferrie's) visited
the Winterland Rink in Houston on the afternoon of November 23, 1963,
with Ferrie staying for quite some time.

The 11/25/63 FBI report states that "Ferrie said that he had been
considering for some time the feasibility and possibility of opening
an ice skating rink in New Orleans" [CD 75; p.288].

Later the same day (11/23/63), Ferrie visited another ice skating rink
in the Houston area--the Bellaire Skating Rink--where Ferrie said he
stayed for "approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour" [CD 75; p.289].

Now, I suppose the conspiracy believers might be asking this: Well, so
what? What do Ferrie's actions and movements AFTER the assassination
have to do with whether or not he participated in a plot to kill Kennedy?

But in response to the above question, I'd then pose the following
question to the conspiracy theorists who believe that David Ferrie was
part of a sinister plot to kill JFK in November 1963:

If Dave Ferrie had played a part in a conspiracy to murder John F. Kennedy,
what is the likelihood that he would have had a desire to drive to Texas
on the evening of 11/22/63 (the same day that such a conspiracy to kill
JFK was successfully accomplished in Dallas) in order for Ferrie to visit a
couple of ice skating rinks in Houston?

Now, yes, I suppose it's POSSIBLE that a person who had just been
involved in a secretive plan to assassinate the President of the United
States MIGHT want to jump into his car and make tracks toward the
VERY SAME STATE in which the assassination had just taken place in
order to engage in a pleasurable activity such as ice skating.

But, in my opinion, if Mr. Ferrie had been involved (in even the
tiniest way) in a plot to kill Kennedy, taking such a trip to visit
two ice skating establishments in Houston at that particular point in
time is something that simply does not make any sense whatsoever.

Because at that particular point in time on November 22-25, 1963, if
he had been a behind-the-scenes conspirator in JFK's killing, Ferrie
would most certainly have been totally consumed with thoughts about
the Presidential assassination he had helped orchestrate, in addition
to the efforts he most certainly would have been making at that time
to ensure his future safety and freedom (while trying to avoid capture
for what he had done).

I ask: If David Ferrie was a guilty plotter, do his known actions during
the period of November 22-25, 1963, make any logical sense at all?
I say they do not.

In fact, if Ferrie had been guilty of conspiracy to murder JFK, it
really makes no sense at all for him to have still been anywhere
within the UNITED STATES at any point in time on the dates of
November 22-25, 1963 (since Ferrie, himself, was certainly not one
of the actual "gunmen" in Dallas; and I know of no conspiracy theorist
who has ever alleged that Ferrie, himself, was one of the supposed
shooters in Dealey Plaza).

Ferrie would have very likely been thousands of miles from the scene
of President Kennedy's murder by the time the first shot was even
fired in Dealey Plaza if he had been involved in any kind of a plot to
assassinate Kennedy. And, being an airplane pilot himself, he would
probably also have arranged for his getaway to be accomplished at
an altitude of several thousand feet.

Another point that I think is worth mentioning when talking about Dave
Ferrie is this:

On February 18, 1967, four days before he died, Ferrie was interviewed
in his apartment by Andrew Sciambra and Lou Ivon of the New Orleans
District Attorney's office. At one point during the interview, Sciambra
asked Ferrie, "Dave, who shot the President?" Ferrie's answer was:
"Well, that's an interesting question and I've got my own thoughts
about it."

Quoting directly from Vincent Bugliosi's book, "Reclaiming History":

"Ferrie then proceeded to sit up and draw a sketch of Dealey
Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository Building and [per the
memorandum of the interview supplied to Jim Garrison by Sciambra and
Ivon] "went into a long spiel about the trajectory of bullets in relation
to the height and distance." He then gave a "lecture on anatomy and
pathology [and] named every bone in the human body and every hard
and soft muscle area" and concluded that one bullet could not have
caused all the damage the Warren Commission claimed it did."
--
"Reclaiming History"; Page 1400

Now, I think a logical question to ask after reading the above
paragraph is: Why would Ferrie, if he was guilty of being part of a
conspiracy, have wanted to say ANYTHING at all of a derogatory nature
about the Warren Commission's investigation (which was, after all, an
investigation that ended with the determination that Oswald had acted
alone in killing JFK)?

When Ferrie told Sciambra and Ivon that, in essence, he didn't think
the Single-Bullet Theory was true, that was pretty much the same thing
as Ferrie saying a conspiracy did, in fact, exist in the murder of
John Kennedy.

And why would ONE OF THE CONSPIRATORS WHO HAD KENNEDY KILLED
want to say anything at all (to Jim Garrison's investigators, no less!) of
a negative or critical nature concerning the Warren Commission's "lone
assassin" conclusion?

In my opinion, that would have been a crazy and illogical thing for
Ferrie to do IF Ferrie had really played a role in some kind of a plot
to murder President Kennedy.

But, since it's fairly obvious that there isn't a scrap of evidence to
link David Ferrie to any JFK conspiracy plot, then Ferrie's anti-SBT
comments that he made to Sciambra and Ivon in February 1967 do not
really fall into the "crazy" or "illogical" categories at all. But they
certainly would belong in those two categories if Ferrie had been
guilty of conspiracy to murder John F. Kennedy.

David Von Pein
September 17, 2009

=================================================

ADDENDUM:

Author Vincent Bugliosi, in his 2007 book "RECLAIMING HISTORY",
devotes 90 pages in the main text of the book (and an additional 129
pages of endnotes) to the subjects of Jim Garrison's New Orleans
investigation into JFK's assassination and Oliver Stone's 1991 movie,
"JFK".

During the course of those 219 pages, the name David Ferrie, of course,
surfaces quite a number of times. The quotes shown below are some of
my favorites from Bugliosi's book relating to the topic of David W. Ferrie:

"Former assistant Warren Commission counsel Wesley Liebeler, who
helped conduct the New Orleans phase of the investigation into
Kennedy's death, told the New York Times on the day of Ferrie's death
in 1967 that Edward Voebel, a high school classmate of Oswald's, told
local and federal investigators on the day of the assassination back
in 1963 that he thought Oswald had served briefly in a New Orleans
Civil Air Patrol unit commanded by Ferrie, and three days later they
received reports that Ferrie had made a trip to Texas on the day of
the assassination.

"[Quoting Liebeler:] "We checked all of this out, and it just
did not lead anywhere. .... The FBI did a very substantial piece of
work on Ferrie. It was so clear that he was not involved that we
didn't mention it in the [Warren] Report. Garrison has a
responsibility to indicate just why he thinks Ferrie might have been
involved, and so far as I can determine he has given no reason." [End
Liebeler quote.]

"But Garrison did not do this because he could not do this. All
he could say to the media in a formal statement he issued to the press
later on the day of Ferrie's death [February 22, 1967] was that
"evidence developed by our office had long since confirmed that he was
involved in events culminating in the assassination of President
Kennedy."

"But what could that evidence have been, particularly since...Perry Russo
had not yet surfaced with his totally discredited story about Ferrie
conspiring with Shaw and Oswald?"
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 1401-1402
of "Reclaiming History: The Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy"

--------------------------------

"In 1993, a photograph surfaced of a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cookout
in New Orleans, showing Ferrie and Oswald in it, though not anywhere
near each other.

"At the time the photo was taken, sometime in 1955, Oswald, who joined
the CAP briefly on July 27, 1955, was clearly a member of the group, but
Ferrie, a pilot who had previously commanded the group, was not, having
been expelled from it on December 31, 1954. However, he apparently
continued to be associated with the group in an unofficial capacity, and
the HSCA was unable to determine if Ferrie and Oswald actually knew
each other in the CAP. (9 HSCA 103-115)

"With respect to Ferrie having no recollection of ever having met Oswald,
even if Ferrie had met Oswald at a CAP meeting, as the owner of the photo,
John Ciravolo, told author Patricia Lambert in a July 9, 1997, interview,
"I'm in the picture [too], and I'm sure David Ferrie wouldn't remember
me, either" (Lambert, False Witness, p.61).

"Prior to the emergence of the photograph, the person most cited as
putting Oswald and Ferrie together at the CAP in New Orleans was Edward
Voebel, a high school friend of Oswald's in New Orleans who got Oswald
interested in the CAP unit.

"Voebel testified before the Warren Commission that Oswald only attended
"two or three meetings" and then "lost interest." Voebel said, "I think
[Captain Ferrie] was there when Lee attended one of those meetings, but
I'm not sure of that." (8 H 14)"
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 1397 of
"Reclaiming History" (Footnote)

--------------------------------

"In fairness to Oliver Stone, just as the New Orleans coroner's
medical conclusion that Ferrie died from a ruptured blood vessel in
the brain virtually forecloses his having been murdered, if, indeed,
the two notes found in his room were suicide notes, they would
likewise virtually foreclose his having died, as the coroner said,
from a ruptured aneurysm in the brain.

"Whether the notes were, in fact, suicide notes is not completely
clear, though the "To leave this life" one obviously goes in that
direction. Of course, Ferrie was in very ill health at the time of his
death, and he may very well have written the subject notes at some
earlier time in possible contemplation of impending death.

"In any event, there is absolutely no evidence that David Ferrie
was murdered. But in Oliver Stone's fine hands, there is no question
that he was. Stone shows Ferrie being murdered (which, as we've seen,
even Stone's hero, Garrison, didn't believe), obviously to silence him
before he elaborated on his incriminating statements to Garrison,
statements we know he never made."
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 1402
of "Reclaiming History"

--------------------------------

"No credible evidence has ever emerged that Lee Harvey Oswald or
David Ferrie was associated in any way with the CIA or any other U.S.
intelligence agency. And the only connection Clay Shaw had with the
CIA was not as an agent or operative, but as one of well over 100,000
prominent Americans who traveled regularly in foreign countries (as
Shaw did as the managing director of the New Orleans International
Trade Mart) and who, upon their return to the states, furnished
information about these countries to the Domestic Contact Service
(DCS) of the CIA, a nonclandestine operation. As the HSCA said, “Such
acts of cooperation should not be confused with an actual Agency [CIA]
relationship” (HSCA Report, p.218)."
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 808-809
of "Reclaiming History" (Endnotes)

--------------------------------

"The Garrison devotees have apparently never been troubled by
the question of why Shaw and Ferrie would select Oswald, of all
people, as their hit man...or patsy when they had no way of knowing
that the president would even come back to New Orleans, where Oswald
lived at the time.

"Or were they planning to finance Oswald as he traveled, Carcano
in his violin case, all around the country stalking Kennedy for a good
opportunity to kill him or be the patsy for someone else who would? If
the latter, aren’t they troubled by the fact that we know, from
Oswald’s known whereabouts, that he never did travel around the
country?"
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 847 of "Reclaiming History" (Endnotes)

--------------------------------

"For all intents and purposes, Garrison’s entire case had...been
built around [Perry] Russo, specifically Russo’s testimony at the
[Clay Shaw] trial that on one occasion at a party in Ferrie’s home in
September of 1963, he heard Ferrie, Shaw, and Oswald conspire to
murder Kennedy.

"Not only was Russo himself, as we have seen, devoid of all
credibility, but also Garrison, during the trial, was unable to come
up with one single witness to corroborate Russo’s fable.

"Indeed...Garrison learned BEFORE the trial that one witness who
Russo said was at Ferrie’s house on the day in question, Lefty
Peterson, said that Shaw and Oswald were not at the party, and Sandra
Moffett, Russo’s one-time girlfriend, who he said accompanied him to
the party at Ferrie’s home, said that was impossible because she never
met Ferrie until 1965.

"The reader should know by now how conspiracy authors handle
inconvenient witnesses like Peterson and Moffett. It’s really very
simple...they simply don’t mention Peterson and Moffett.

"If we are to believe the conspiracy theorists who still cling to
Russo’s fable, apparently Russo needed truth serum and hypnosis to
recall hearing three people plot to murder President Kennedy.

"Without truth serum and hypnosis, the twenty-five-year-old insurance
salesman had so many other things going on in his life that being witness
to a plot to murder the president of the United States just wasn’t
important enough to remember."
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 850-851
of "Reclaiming History" (Endnotes)

David Von Pein
September 2009
September 2010

LINK TO ORIGINAL POST (SEPTEMBER 18, 2009)